The new roadmap to clean the Litani was outlined by Manal Moussallem, an environmental advisor with the UN Development Fund and the Environment Ministry. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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Lebanese officials announced Thursday an ambitious seven-year plan that will cost hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up what they described as the "catastrophe" of pollution at the Litani River and Qaraoun Lake.The $730 million proposal will expand sewage treatment networks, manage solid waste and pesticide pollution into the river, and help factories reduce the dumping of chemicals into the water.The Litani provides roughly 160 million cubic meters of water for irrigation and power generation.Most of the pollution contaminating the Litani comes from solid waste and municipal waste water that is dumped into the river, agricultural pollution from pesticides washing into the water and chemical waste from industrial plants.Out of the $733 million that will be earmarked for the proposal, 14 million will go to solid waste treatment, $2.6 million for agricultural pollution, $2.6 million for industrial pollution and $712 million for sewage treatment.Untreated sewage dumped in rivers is a major cause of the Litani's contamination, and can affect crops irrigated with water from the river.
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